Is a Micro Wedding Right for You? - adventureamore.com
Couple holds hands and smiles at their Colorado micro wedding

Is a Micro Wedding Right for You?

Couple before their first look at their Colorado micro weddingFrom definitions to wedding alternatives, this guide will help you understand if a Micro Wedding is the right choice for your special day.

Weddings used to be one-size-fits-all. Everyone was expected to get married in the same way: Buy a giant white dress or shimmy into a black suit, and walk down the aisle of the family’s church while the father of the bride tried not to cry and Great Grandma told everyone about the good ol’ days. After that, there tended to be formal photos, a grand entrance, a giant cake, mandatory first dances, bouquet tosses, and greeting hundreds of guests who the new couple may or may not know. (If you are wondering why weddings involved such specific traditions, check out the history of these traditions here.)

Regardless of style or interests, weddings tend to be fairly cookie-cutter (and not necessarily Funfetti). For some, the traditional wedding style works great. For others, there has always been a desire for something more….authentic.

Recently, we’ve seen an evolution in the wedding industry. They range from traditional weddings to micro weddings, to commitment ceremonies, and elopements. We have seen weddings on top of mountains, on ski slopes, or in intimate settings where it is just you and your partner. The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to getting hitched. Each type of wedding caters to a different type of person. And that, my Amores, is a beautiful thing?

Which Wedding Style is Right for You?

So with all of the options on the table, what style of wedding works best for you? The first step in answering this burning question is understanding what the different types of weddings entail. So let’s dive in, with a focus on micro weddings: what they are, how to plan them, and whether this style of wedding or something slightly more adventurous, fits your style best.

In the end, it is my hope you find a way that celebrates your unique love in the way you (and not society!) have always imagined. Ready? Let’s do this thing.

Couple holds hands at their Colorado mountain micro wedding

What is a Micro Wedding?

Generally speaking, micro weddings follow the same layout as a traditional wedding, but within a condensed format.

Micro weddings include:

1.  Fewer guests (under 50)

2.  A shorter ceremony

3.  A traditional wedding format (getting ready, walking down the aisle, saying “I do”, etc.)

Micro weddings do NOT include:

1.  An experience-based activity, such as a hike or star gazing

2.  An extended ceremony in multiple locations

3.  A focus on the outdoors or nature

(This is what elopements are for, but we will get into that, later!)

Couple walks together at their Colorado weddingCouple holds hands at their Colorado wedding

The Benefits

The obvious benefit of a micro wedding is cost. These days, the average cost of a wedding is over $33,000 (cue cold sweats and assuring your partner that won’t be your wedding.) The average cost for a micro wedding can be a fraction of the cost. Having fewer guests and time correlates with fewer expenses, and that can take a load off for many couples.

Another proclaimed benefit of the micro wedding is flexibility. With fewer guests, you have more venues to choose from, since a larger venue will not be required to squeeze in so many people! However, it is important to keep in mind that while a small group of guests may be more manageable, there will still be constraints on your location. Most likely, even your most hardcore group of family and friends won’t be able to journey to your favorite mountain top if this is what you and your partner had in mind to celebrate your “I do’s!”

Micro Weddings vs. Macro Wedding (aka Traditional Weddings)

Don’t get me wrong: I love a good wedding. The food, the dancing, the part where we have to tell the bartender to start switching Uncle George to water shots. However, for many couples, the idea of organizing, planning, and paying for a large wedding can be overwhelming. At some point in the planning process, the couple (maybe even you!) realizes that all this planning has now become about making all the guests and family happy, not the actual couple!

Micro weddings provide a more manageable number of people, with more of the flexibility to determine who to include. (After all, a traditional wedding can host over 300 guests!)

Traditions are generally more flexible in a micro wedding when compared to a traditional wedding ceremony. If you wish to leave the religious aspect out or add in your own personal or cultural tradition (a special dance? A furry friend ring bearer?) then a micro wedding tends to be more accepting of these personalized traditions and desires.

A micro wedding provides a great middle-ground if you do not want to commit to a large ceremony, but want to keep some of the big wedding traditions intact: like a formal reception or a church celebration. If dancing down the aisle in a princess dress, surrounded by only your “nearest and dearest” is a priority, then perhaps a micro wedding is for you!

Female same sex couple walks together at their wedding in Garden of the Gods ColoradoFemale Same-Sex couple embraces on the rocks at their wedding at Garden of the Gods Same sex female couple dances at their micro wedding

Micro Weddings vs. Elopements (aka the Authentic Wedding)

Old books and movies give the impression of elopements as “secret and scandalous” Picture a Montague and Capulet feel (pulling out some of that classic Shakespeare). But today, elopements are increasing in popularity for one major reason: They allow the couple to have a celebration catered entirely to their desires. (After all, this is your day!)

The main difference between a micro wedding and an elopement is that the entire focus of this day is on you two, and you can craft it to be whatever your heart desires. This allows for a lot of flexibility in where you choose to hold the ceremony, the traditions or activities, and the guests you invite. (Because let’s be honest, a rock climbing wedding may be perfect for you and your boo, but may not work into Grandma Ethel’s schedule. So you decide to elope, with Grandma present in the morning and rock climb with your boo at sunset. With elopements, you can have your cake and eat it too ;))

Another important thing to keep in mind is that if you have a traditional wedding, it’s a bit rude to throw multiple wedding celebrations and parties after the wedding. But, if you have an elopement, you can party with each of your friends to celebrate your marriage whenever you choose.

Although I would never suggest a couple make a big life decision on price alone, it is worth mentioning that elopements are VERY cost-effective. The average adventure elopement costs between $3,920 – $9,100.

After reading through the details of elopements, one of two things will most likely cross your mind:

1.  You feel your heart drop at the idea of not having a wedding in a church or another traditional venue, surrounded by guests who are prepared for a formal reception.

2.  You are excited about the opportunity that an elopement can provide (I hear Colorado adventure elopements are all the rage!) Maybe, your mind is ablaze with the inspiration of where to elope and the activities that can help commemorate your day.

Whichever category you fall under, trust your gut, trust your partner, and rest assured that you will have a beautiful celebration, no matter where it is, or who you have in attendance.

Couple kisses under an alter at their Colorado weddingCouple kisses under sunset sky at their micro wedding

Determining if a Micro Wedding is Right for You

Micro weddings, like bangs and jean shorts, are not for everyone. However, for the right couple, a micro wedding could be the perfect fit. At the end of the day, the style of celebration will depend on the intimacy you desire, the customization you have in mind, and the traditional aspects you would like to implement. If a micro wedding sounds like it might be right for you, Colorado Microweddings is a fantastic resource to help you start planning.

I like to think of determining a wedding celebration like a “choose your own adventure” story. There is no right or wrong answer, only the direction you and your partner choose to go!

Let’s take a closer look.

Table comparing Elopements, Weddings, and Micro Weddings

Why An Adventure Elopement May Serve you Better Than a Micro Wedding

Let me be real with you: adventure elopements are kind of “my thing.” Not because I dislike traditional weddings and all of their glory, or the simplicity of a micro wedding. I like elopements for three main reasons: they allow couples to be authentic, customize their day, and allow you access to nature. You deserve the chance to make something fully yours, especially on something as special as your wedding day.

Authenticity

Elopements allow a couple to be themselves in a way no other wedding celebration allows. This is partly because they can celebrate any location they desire. But this is also because they do not feel pressured to fulfill anyone’s expectations (society’s, or Great Grandma Ethel’s.)

There is something truly freeing and authentic when two people who love each other get together and plan a day that is 100% about them. There is an honesty in this type of day that makes me tear up a little (okay, fine, tear up a lot. Don’t worry. I brought tissues.) I love elopements because masks are removed and authenticity is at the forefront.

Customization

A micro wedding gives you a little wiggle room in terms of customizing your big day, but an elopement flings the doors of opportunity wide open and says, “Have at it, buddy!” From the style of clothing to the length of celebration, to every quirky tradition you can imagine, elopements welcome the nuanced details you want to be incorporated into your celebration.

Curious about where to start in customizing an elopement? This is a good jumping-off point.

Couple kisses at their Colorado Micro WeddingCouple sits together at their Colorado Mountain Wedding

Nature-Based

For some of my Amores, a connection with nature is the best way to describe their love. That’s why adventure elopements can take place in some of the most scenic places on the earth. While micro weddings allow for the option for an outdoor setting, they are often restricted to venues where guests can easily attend and are constrained to tight time slots.

With an adventure elopement, you can have your first kiss with an epic Rocky Mountain backdrop, a waltz through a snowy field, a star-studded first dance, or “I do’s” in the deep forest. And of course, there will be photos to prove it.

Couple embrace at their Colorado mountain weddingCouple signs marriage license at their wedding

Making Your Big Day Special

I’ll scream it from every rooftop, sing it in the shower, and preach it to anyone willing to listen: your wedding day, whether that be a traditional wedding, a micro wedding, or an adventure elopement, should be about you. A celebration like this has no room for societal or familial pressure. It should not have any pressure at all.

I encourage every one of my Amores to take a tried and true look at what is important to them on one of the biggest days of their lives. This day must be authentic to their story and desires because let’s face it, traditions and style may change, but what you celebrate together as a couple will stay constant.

Meet the Best Elopement Photographer for You

Colorado Elopement Photographer stands next to a Jeep

Hi there! I’m Adam. I’m an adventure elopement photographer because I love crafting a truly unique day for the couple, not bound by expectations. If that sounds like something that stirs your soul, gets ya moving, and you want to chat with the best Colorado elopement photographer for you, send me a note, and let’s have a free consultation. I can’t wait to hear from you.

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